A Friendship That Will Burn for all Eternity
I rarely meet a stranger. My husband makes jokes and tells me he can’t take me anywhere for the simple fact that he knows I never meet strangers, and at any moment could introduce myself to someone and talk for several minutes while he waits patiently. (Yes, he really does wait patiently!) If it’s someone I know, he will surely try to find a place to sit down because that few minutes could certainly turn into half an hour.
Though I have many female friends, whether those I consider close or just by acquaintance, social media friends, or next door neighbors, I have only one best friend, Gayla, and we just buried her after a long battle with Colon Cancer.
When I met Gayla she had the most beautiful, long, red hair. The curls spiraled down her back in ringlets, bouncing while she walked or laughed. We met 24 years ago when I moved to the area, and the first thing I noticed about her, while she was in a crowd of other people, was her bright, red hair. Gayla loved Anne of Green Gables, and like Anne in the book series, she was conflicted about her red hair, sometimes feeling less confident because of it. Through the years Gayla talked of Anne with such passion. She read the books, watched the movie, collected tea sets, and on occasion, had tea parties. She felt her red hair connected her to such a beloved fictional character. In the book, Anne spoke of her greatest wish, which was to have a bosom friend. That bosom friend is what Gayla and I found in each other.
God made us to have deep, meaningful relationships. As sisters in Christ, we need that connection to other like-minded women. I have friendships with unbelievers, but they will never be the same, nor should they be. Connecting to women who love the Lord, and working together to enhance and grow that relationship, should be a priority. We should be open, and transparent. We need to encourage each other, support each other, lift each other’s spirits, and even exhort each other when sin is evident. Christian women need to pursue godly friendships.
A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. ~ Proverbs 17:17
I was blessed with a faithful friend. She was such a treasure in my life. Gayla always reminded me of what was important: Christ. The purpose of our friendship, with the help of the Holy Spirit, was to continue pushing each other towards our ultimate goal: living this life for Christ and spending eternity with Him. Gayla has finished her race. Her goal has been completed and it was not because of her own doing, but because Christ died for her. He clothed her in garments of salvation and wrapped her in His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).
The Basis for Christian Friendships
As Christian women, we can impact the lives of those around us. We are praying women, we believe the Word of God and stand on God’s promises. We rejoice in our salvation and are humble and thankful for His amazing grace in our lives. What better way to cultivate a relationship than base it on the One that saved us.
Draw close to Christ, together.
Grow in theology and doctrine, together.
Receive God’s grace, together.
Serve the Lord, and those around us, together.
Live a righteous life, together.
Obey the Lord’s commandments, together.
Confess sin, and repent, together.
Christian women can ground their relationships in more than just having common daily interests such as kids, home-schooling, sports, or book clubs. Ground relationships in Christ and look for more of Christ in the women you meet.
Friendships That Burn for all Eternity
Having a deep, meaningful relationship, like I had with my best friend, is a gift from the Lord. God gave me this gift before He saved me. Both of us were unbelievers when we met, but the Lord saved her shortly after, and for several years she spoke to me about the gospel. She told me to repent and believe. Like all unbelievers, I was blind. I hated God and hated His Word. I certainly didn’t want to hear her talk about Him. I was dead spiritually and loved the sinful life I was living. Though we did some spend time together, we slowly started to drift apart, but that was to be expected - what does light have to do with darkness?
The Lord used Gayla in a mighty way, I believe, before turning my heart of stone to a heart of flesh and saving me. I remember the day the Lord saved me. Gayla had invited me to church like she had done dozens of times before that, and God opened my ears to hear His Word. I repented and believed. I was never the same. When we are truly born again, we will never be the same. God changed my heart and even as a new believer, I knew without a doubt I was a new creation. Gayla was there, through it all.
God preserved and sustained our friendship for many years. It was such a joy to let each other know what we were studying in the Word. We loved talking about prayers of the Puritans in the Valley of Vision book we both owned. We talked of heaven often because we longed for our true home. Not only were we best friends, and sisters in Christ in this world, we would get excited knowing we would spend eternity together praising our Lord Jesus Christ.
For God to give me the wonderful friendship I had with Gayla was such sweet grace I could never thank Him enough for it. It was His grace that brought a beautiful, vibrant, red-headed girl into my life 24 years ago, and at that time I could have never imagined what He had in store for the both of us; not only in regards to our salvation and assurance of eternity with Him, but also in the ups and downs of this life as we stuck by each other to the very end of her life.
There’s no better way to end an article on friendship than with a quote from Esther Edwards Burr, daughter of famous Theologian Jonathan Edwards. Years’ worth of letters to her dear friend, Sarah, were printed in 1986. The special relationship they had was evident in those letters. Esther wrote:
Find those friendships. Invest in those wholehearted, rich relationships that will burn for all Eternity.